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Three early songs

Arnold Schönberg (b. 1874 - d. 1951)

Ruby Hughes (photo credit: Sim Canetty Clarke)

Ruby Hughes (photo credit: Sim Canetty Clarke)

Composer
Arnold Schönberg (b. 1874 - d. 1951)
Composition Year
1899/1903
Work Movements
1. Erwartung Op.2/1
2. Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm Op.2/2
Artists
Julius Drake [piano], Ruby Hughes [mezzo-soprano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Schoenberg’s name is forever associated with the rupture of all musical tradition that took place in the first decades of the twentieth century; however his early songs stand right at the beginning of his journey from Brahms and Wagner to the air of another planet. One of the staging posts along the way was the poetry of Richard Dehmel, in particular Weib und Welt, which had the great advantage of being banned by the censors and subject to a spectacular trial. Much later the composer wrote to the poet saying: almost every turning point of my musical development is connected with a poem by Dehmel. For it was almost always for your tone that I found the new tone that would then become my own. It was of course Dehmel’s poetry that was the inspiration for Verklärte Nacht  and in that same year he set seven of his poems that were published as Op.2. This time also coincided with Schoenberg’s ardent pursuit of Mathilde Zemlinsky.

After some time in Berlin, Schoenberg moved back to Vienna with his family and began to form his group of compositional disciples that included both Alban Berg and Anton Webern. The first new pieces he composed in Vienna were the eight songs that made up his Op.6, later described by Adorno as probably the composition in which Schoenberg’s music becomes self-aware. The text of Verlassen echoes the story behind Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, where the protagonist deserts his beloved without even a single word of farewell.

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Three early songs

Composer: Arnold Schönberg (b. 1874 - d. 1951)
Performance date: Tuesday 1st July 2014
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Arnold Schönberg (b. 1874 - d. 1951)
Work Title Three early songs
Composition Year 1899/1903
Work Movements 1. Erwartung Op.2/1
2. Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm Op.2/2
Artist(s) Julius Drake [piano], Ruby Hughes [mezzo-soprano]
Performance Date Tuesday 1st July 2014
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Crespo Recital Series
Duration 00:07:51
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation S-solo, pf
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

Schoenberg’s name is forever associated with the rupture of all musical tradition that took place in the first decades of the twentieth century; however his early songs stand right at the beginning of his journey from Brahms and Wagner to the air of another planet. One of the staging posts along the way was the poetry of Richard Dehmel, in particular Weib und Welt, which had the great advantage of being banned by the censors and subject to a spectacular trial. Much later the composer wrote to the poet saying: almost every turning point of my musical development is connected with a poem by Dehmel. For it was almost always for your tone that I found the new tone that would then become my own. It was of course Dehmel’s poetry that was the inspiration for Verklärte Nacht  and in that same year he set seven of his poems that were published as Op.2. This time also coincided with Schoenberg’s ardent pursuit of Mathilde Zemlinsky.

After some time in Berlin, Schoenberg moved back to Vienna with his family and began to form his group of compositional disciples that included both Alban Berg and Anton Webern. The first new pieces he composed in Vienna were the eight songs that made up his Op.6, later described by Adorno as probably the composition in which Schoenberg’s music becomes self-aware. The text of Verlassen echoes the story behind Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, where the protagonist deserts his beloved without even a single word of farewell.